YPC Weekly Newsletter

2013


RULING OF GENERAL JURISDICTIONS COURT UPON LAWSUIT, CONTESTING ARTICLES PUBLISHED 9 YEARS AGO, WAS CONFIRMED

On June 6, RA Civil Court of Appeals rejected the application of Razmik Abrahamian (former convict, who was sentenced for sexual assault against minors). The latter had appealed the ruling of the court of general jurisdictions, rendered upon his lawsuit versus the founders of “Aravot” (“Aravot Oratert” LLC) and “Haykakan Zhamanak” (“Dareskizb” LLC) dailies. As we have reported, the matter of the dispute were the articles of “Aravot” (September 26, 2003) and “Haykakan Zhamanak” (September 5, 2003), which presented the court trial on the case of Razmik Abrahamian and described him negatively. On November 5, 2012, the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan took the suit into consideration, even though the contested articles were published more than 9 years ago: the Court proceeded from the fact that Razmik Abrahamian was in prison for all these years and had no opportunity to challenge the materials at court. The plaintiff demanded moral damage of 2 mln AMD (about $ 5,000) for libel and insult from each of the respondents. The hearings on the case started on January 9, 2013; the suit was revoked on March 7. At the same time, the Court bound Razmik Abrahamian to paying state duty of 80,000 AMD (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, March 1-7, 2013). The Court justified its decision to reject the suit by the fact that at the moment of the publication of contested articles the facts presented in them were accurate: the information was provided to the respondents by the agency, which conducted criminal investigation on the case of Razmik Abrahamian, hence it could not be assessed as discrediting the honor, dignity and reputation of the plaintiff.

On April 4, Razmik Abrahamian brought a complaint to the Civil Court of Appeals, which submitted the complaint on April 22, considered it on May 22 and revoked it as unjustified on June 6. Moreover, the Court bound Razmik Abrahamian to pay off the state duty of 30,000 AMD for filing an appeal.